- Directory to Contents of Henning's Scouter's Pages
- Merit Badges, Past and Present, And Their Evolution
- History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America)
- History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America) - Wikipedia
- History and Value of Boy Scout Merit Badges
Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking. The Stalking merit badge was resurrected, but with a new name, Tracking. My rational for not counting 3 of these twice is that the Aviation merit badge had a hiatus of 10 years from until and I only counted it once. To be consistent, I do count 1 of the historic merit badges a second time. Tracking was a new name, and since in the past, merit badges with new names were considered to be new merit badges, I will count Tracking.
Hence, only including one of the historic merit barges, Tracking, there have been additional merit badges. Of these merit badges, 26 remain from the group of 57 original merit badges from , and have been introduced since An additional 96 merit badges were created after that were subsequently dropped. So, all together, there have been a total of different merit badges.
Directory to Contents of Henning's Scouter's Pages
They are just omitted from all literature, the cloth badge is not made, and there are no books published. Apparently someone that has the most recent set of requirements could use them. I am not sure how one went about getting an approved merit badge counselor. That could be a problem, however that didn't stopped some people. An example of there is the Rabbit Raising Merit Badge that was dropped in Apparently the BSA has some misgivings about councils awarding merit badges after they are "discontinued. If actual effort has already begun by the time discontinuation becomes effective, and work actively continues, then the badge may be completed and can count toward rank advancement, but presentation of the badge itself will be subject to availability.
It is a misconception that discontinued merit badges may be earned as long as the patch and requirements can be found. Also, some "youth and adults that are developmentally disabled, or youth with severe physical challenges" are eligible to be members beyond the normal age of eligibility and have permission to work on rank advancement and merit badges as long as they continue to be registered. If they started a merit badge before it was "discontinued," then they supposedly can keep on working on it, presumably with the same merit badge counselor they started with.
Using a more realistic approach, my definition for the final year for a merit badge is the last year it appears in BSA literature as a valid merit badge even though it may be earned many years after that. The following lists indicate in parenthesis any assigned merit badge code number; any preceding merit badge that may be related; and the number of each merit badge issued in The total number of merit badges issued in was 2,, Most of the very popular merit badges are the Eagle Scout rank required badges.
Approximately 60, of each of these are earned each year.
Merit Badges, Past and Present, And Their Evolution
Other popular merit badges include camp handicrafts such as leatherwork and carving; popular camp activities such as archery, rifle shooting, kayaking, canoeing, indian lore, and wilderness survival; and others that are frequently done as a troop such as fingerprinting,. In looking at the list some general conclusions can be drawn. More Scouts are into Music than Sports, 15, to 9, There is a lot of interest in the classic Scouting skills of first aid, swimming, camping, canoeing, fishing, lifesaving, climbing, cooking, and nature study.
Nature study accounts for 10 of the more popular merit badges: Hiking has dropped to the middle of the pack along with Cycling, Scholarship and Reading. Formerly, when a new merit badge was adopted, the least popular merit badge was in danger of being dropped. The last merit badges to be dropped were in The historic merit badges Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling and Tracking were dropped in but were only temporary for Scouting's th anniversary.
History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America)
Tracking was actually a new name since it was previously called Stalking. Since , at least 21 new merit badges were created and no old ones were dropped.
These 21 new badges plus 2 that were renamed include:. This list was compiled by Steve Henning using Scout Handbooks and Boy Scout Requirements and was compiled on February 24, , and updated frequently since then. The Merit Badges which started in are the original ones.
The evolution is an arbitrary process and in some cases is a name change and in others there is little connection and is noted for interest. Thanks to Fred Duersch, Jr. Wolf for finding several errors. For a copy of the requirements for current merit badges and recent changes to the requirements, visit the Boy Scout Requirements site at: Wolf created an Excel Spreadsheet of all past and present merit badges for all years from to To view a simplified version of the spreadsheet, click here. No one will ever know who earned the most merit badges and how many since that is not a statistic that is kept.
It is not the purpose of the merit badge program to earn the most, but to gain exposure to careers and activities that may interest a Scout and may provide opportunities his entire life.
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A reporter for the Kansas City Star reported that an estimated 12 Scouts complete earning every merit badge each year. Through the years merit badges and been added and terminated. Hence, the number of merit badges varies from year and also during a year since the start dates and end dates don't necessarily coincide with the calendar year. The following chart indicates the number of merit badges that were available during a year, but not necessarily at the same time.
These dates are based upon the data in this website gleaned from Handbooks and Requirements books. The total was and he had a total of 8 silver palms by his 18th birthday. It is doubtful that this is accurate since he joined Boy Scouts in at the age of 10 which is in itself problematic. The most merit badges he could have earned is If a Scout joined in or they could earn merit badges, and then only if one included twice the ones that were basically name changes like:.
Since there was no numbering scheme for merit badges until , earning a merit badge that just had the name changed was OK. Today, one can only do it if the new name has a new number, for example:. Snow Sports is different than Skiing and Moviemaking is different than Cinematography so they both can be earned, but Automotive Maintenance is the same as Auto Mechanics , and Water Sports is the same as Waterskiing so they can only be earned once.
Using the actual data of when merit badges were valid, the joining age as it varied from 12 to 11, the date a Scout must stop earning merit badges, one can calculate the maximum number of merit badges that should have been awarded. Since before council offices were brought on to the BSA ScoutNET computer around the year , councils could easily make mistakes by not noting the official starting date of a merit badge, the official termination date of a merit badge and the age of the Scout when he earned the merit badge.
In that was changed so that anyone 18 or over wasn't supposed to be allowed to earn a merit badge. Again, until records were computerized, there were some discrepancies. BSA records in their Annual Reports to Congress indicate some councils failed to observe the termination date of a merit badge and awarded them several years after that.
History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America) - Wikipedia
That was further complicated since Scouts that had started a merit badge were allowed to finish it. So if a 10 year old started a merit badge just before it was terminated, he could finish earning it 7 years after it was terminated. Again, some councils lost track of when the official termination date was. The following chart determines the approximate number of merit badges a Scout could earn if he joined at the earliest age and worked on merit badges until or, after that, until he reached age Of course 1 the actual date during the year when a Scout's birthday fell, 2 the actual date during the year a merit badge became official, and 3 the actual date during the year when a merit badge was terminated can change these numbers slightly.
The computers merit badge may be earned until by boys who joined in Merit badge sashes were introduced by the BSA in They had "2 across" and "3 across" version. From to they were tan. From to they were khaki. After there was only the "3 across" version and it was olive green. From to there was also a "3 across" dark green sash for Explorers and a light blue "3 across" one for Air Scouts. The information on wearing of merit badges is very spotty in BSA literature, to say the least, and, in one case, inconsistent.
The best example is the photo in BSA catalogs and on scoutstuff. Members may wear only temporary patches no badges of rank on the back of the merit badge sash. Members may wear only one merit badge sash at a time. A merit badge sash is never worn on the belt. If worn, merit badges are attached to front and back, if needed of sash. Temporary insignia may be worn on back. Merit badges can be worn on the right sleeve only, in rows of not more than three, parallel with the edge of the cuff and two inches above the service stripes.
It is suggested that the merit badges be sewn on a false half sleeve that may be fastened by hooks or snaps, so that it may be worn on the proper occasions, but detached on hikes and at times when wearing badges might seem undesirable. Merit Badges in 3 rows above braid on Uniform Coat. Merit Badges are worn on the right sleeve of the shirt , up to six in number, and must be worn in rows of two. The bottom row is parallel with the edge of the sleeve and 3 inches above it. More than six Merit Badges are worn on the Scout Sash.
This Merit Badge Sash is worn over the right shoulder. When worn under the neckerchief, Merit Badges are placed in rows of two or three according to the width of the sash selected. No Merit Badges are worn on the sleeve when the sash is worn. Merit Badges in rows of two each not more than six may be worn on right sleeve on long sleeved shirt bottom row 3 inches a above cuff. No Merit Badges on sleeve when sash is worn. Merit Badges worn on merit badge sash; less than six may be worn on right sleeve above cuff in rows of three.
Wear up to six Merit Badges on Right Sleeve. Wear more than six on a sash. At the bottom of the right sleeve, starting 3 inches above the edge, you may wear up to six merit badges. If you have more than six, sew them on a sash; wear this over your right shoulder. Up to six merit badges may be worn on the right sleeve of the long-sleeve shirts starting 3 inches above the bottom of the cuff in rows of two.
No merit badges may be worn on the short-sleeve shirt. Merit badges are also worn on the merit badge sash. Wearing the Merit Badge Sash: Most Scouts wear their merit badges on a merit badge sash which is worn over the right shoulder. The merit badges are sewn three across starting from the top as illustrated on page Wear your merit badge sash at courts of honor, troop inspections, flag ceremonies, and when you are on special service projects. You may wear up to six merit badges on the left uniform shirt sleeve. Any number of merit badges, from one on up, may be worn on a merit badge sash.
The sash is worn only on ceremonial occasions and not in regular troop activities. Up to six merit badges may be worn on the right sleeve long-sleeve shirts in a column of two starting 3 inches above the bottom edge of the sleeve cuff. Merit badges may be worn in a column of two on the narrow sash and a column of three on the wide sash. The sash is worn over the right shoulder. It is worn only on formal occasions. No badges other than merit badges may be worn on the sash. You may wear up to six merit badges on the right uniform shirt sleeve. For the merit badge sash, see the illustration on page Only merit badges may be worn on the sash.
Up to six merit badges may be worn on the right sleeve long sleeve shirts in a column of two starting 3 inches above the bottom edge of the sleeve. Badges may be worn on front and back of sash. Up to six merit badges may be worn on the right sleeve of the long-sleeve shirts starting 3 inches above the bottom edge of the cuff in rows of two.
Merit badges may be worn in a column of three on the sash. The classification of badges into types came about as a way for collectors to categorize and classify their collections. Merit badge collectors often collect other Scouting memorabilia as well. Merit badges exist to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to teach them valuable skills in Scoutcraft.
Certain badges are mandatory to receive these higher ranks. For a few years during the s and 90s, First Aid merit badge was a requirement for the First Class Scout rank. The number of merit badges required for each of these higher ranks has varied historically, as has the ratio of mandatory merit badges and non-mandatory badges for those ranks.
Once Scouts attain the Eagle rank, they can earn Eagle Palms , a core requirement of which is earning more merit badges. The BSA changes the design, name, and availability of merit badges depending on various factors such as their popularity, shifts in the focus of the Scouting program, and changes in society.
The remaining six were not reproduced in a short lived "generation" of merit badges, Type I. An example of merit badges reflecting changes in the focus of the Scouting program is " Civics ", which was originally the only citizenship-related merit badge. In the name was changed to "Citizenship. Since , the badges in this group are "Citizenship in the Community", "Citizenship in the Nation", "Citizenship in the World", and "Family Life", all four of which are currently on the mandatory list for Eagle Scout.
The "First Aid to Animals" and "Plant Science" merit badges have both evolved due to societal changes. It was renamed " Veterinary Medicine " in The "Personal Health" merit badge was an original badge with a heart motif. The merit badges on the mandatory list for Eagle rank have changed several times; "First Aid" is the only merit badge that has always been on the mandatory list for Eagle. In , the BSA began manufacturing those merit badges that are required in order to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout with a silver border instead of the green border used on other merit badges.
Scouts could earn any of the four merit badges: Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking. Each had been previously retired in , except Signaling, which was discontinued in These could be used as electives for Star, Life and Eagle ranks, and had to be started and completed during ; after which these badges would again be retired. There have been confirmed Boys Scouts who have earned all the merit badges. The first Boy Scout to do so was Allen Acomb in Both of his younger brothers Lance Schulze and Aaron Schulze would follow in his footsteps making them one of four families where all three sons earned every merit badge.
A record of Boy Scouts who have earned all available merit badges can be found here: Additionally, scouts who have earned all the merit badges may receive the merit badge knot from this site.
History and Value of Boy Scout Merit Badges
According to collectors and badge historians, there have been 11 major styles of merit badges: The visual appearance of a merit badge may alter due to several reasons. A "manufacturing error" is a mistake or significant deviation from the BSA-approved badge design during production. A "design error" is when a badge is manufactured the way it was designed, but the design had a significant flaw. Variations do not appreciably alter the badge's appearance or design. These are often caused by manufacturing variations and not classified separately.
However, some variations have attained notoriety, such as the waffle weave variation found among Type C badges and the large people vs. Collectors find these variations interesting and collect such badges. Stitch patterns and thread type such as silk or cotton are not always consistent.
A similar error appears in both Type H and Type J Citizenship in the Nation badges, where colors vary in order from red, white, and blue to blue, white, and red; the reasons for this are unknown. Large and small bell varieties also exist. Emergency Preparedness was made with a red cross from until , when it was replaced with a green cross in This change was intentionally made.
Genuine manufacturing errors occur from time to time. Some Atomic Energy Type G badges were made without a nucleus. It is supposed to be orange. There have been at least three Type H badges made with little or no plastic; called plasticizing or Type G errors: American Cultures , Colonial Philadelphia,  and Journalism.
This is one of the most famous errors. It has a slight blue tint in the plastic back see photos. It is believed that only about of these were made and that only about 50 have survived to this day. Counterfeit versions of this badge error also exist. The known design errors are all from the early years. Beekeeping was made from to with only four legs instead of six simply because of human design error. Since a spider is an arachnid , not an insect, the design was changed to an aphid the following year.
Spoof merit badges are created and sold by various third parties as a parody or joke. A multitude of emblems include snoring, surfing, computer viruses, citizenship in the universe, snow art, text messaging, whining and duct tape. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For history regarding individual merit badges, see Merit badge Boy Scouts of America.
Handbook for Boys 1st ed. Handbook for Boys 5th ed. Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scout Handbook 7th ed. Scout Handbook 8th ed. The Official Boy Scout Handbook 9th ed. Boy Scout Handbook 11th ed. Merit Badge Field Guide 2nd ed. International Scouting Collectors Association Journal. International Scouting Collectors Association. Merit Badge Field Guide 3rd ed. Netting, Ruth April 12, Katz, Leslie April 10, Murg, Stepanie February 29, Archived from the original on June 25, Reis, Mitch November 4,